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January Detox


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Hmmm, I think I may have put on a couple lbs this past week, not from anything I ate, but from the amount of scotch and bourbon I've drank...

I keep pretty strict control over what I eat as it is (although I might play around less with CarbQuick for a while), but I think it is time to let the alcohol dwindle for a bit. Then again, with work every day coming back up that should be easier.

He don't mix meat and dairy,

He don't eat humble pie,

So sing a miserere

And hang the bastard high!

- Richard Wilbur and John LaTouche from Candide

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Tarka, do you have any special teas, beverages, vitamins, etc. that you rely on to help you get through the detox side effects?

I do indeed! I drink at least three cups of nettle tea a day, it's very good for a sluggish digestive system, allegedly speeds up metabolic rate and has a lovely rounded mouth feel. I think a lot of teas are very thin, so I love the soft, roundedness of nettle tea.

I take 2g of vitamin C a day anyway and a teaspoon of blue green algae but am thinking of adding some Co-Enzyme Q10 for the next month. Has anyone here taken this at all? Anything to say about it?

I'm also going to get back onto the milk thistle for a few days, it really supports liver function. I'm lucky, while I have drank more than I usually drink over the festive period I'm not a huge drinker so I think my liver is in quite good shape. Wish I could say the same about my lungs!

I'm also planning a session of colonic hydrotherapy so I'll have some acidophilus after that.

I don't rattle when you shake me, honest!

Suzi Edwards aka "Tarka"

"the only thing larger than her bum is her ego"

Blogito ergo sum

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I have never been able to understand the "detox" issue regarding foods that are normally consumed without difficulty.

I can understand food allergies, intolerance to dairy and other foodstuffs, but why a healthy person needs to "detox" by avoiding eating foods they normally eat without problem, is simply a mystery to me, since many of the things contained in these foods are abundant in other foods that are consumed.

I have supported friends going through "detox" for substance abuse and also a form of "detox" which was chelation therapy, with another friend who had high levels of heavy metals in her system after 5 years of living and working in a very poor area in another country as a healthcare worker.

I can also understand the reasons for religious semi-fasting during Lent (and Ramadan).

I don't smoke, can't eat chocolate, can't drink alcohol because of allergies, ditto some seafoods. Candy or sweets are not my problem. It is the rich and savory foods that are my downfall, however moderation is the way for me.

I am unable to exercise vigorously because of disabling musculoskeletal conditions but do what I can.

Even with the additional holiday dinners and snacks I did not gain any weight, in fact I lost a little over 2 pounds, my goal has been a pound a week and so far I am on target.

I really would like to know the philosophy behind the "detox" idea.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I really would like to know the philosophy behind the "detox" idea.

I'm curious as well-it is not a phrase I'm familiar with. I assumed you were referring to going on a weight-loss diet when I first read this thread.

I'm also curious about why you don't just keep up these habits if you feel better when you are doing them? I can certainly understand wanting to eat better to feel healthier; what I can't understand is the implication that at some point you say, whew, I feel so much better, now I can go back to eating all the stuff that made me feel bad in the first place. Am I completely missing the point?

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Let me explain.

I suffer from allergic asthma and have maintained a fairly strict no wheat no dairy diet since detoxing last January. Avoiding these two things means I don't end up on a nebuliser. I avoid caffeine because it makes me a bitch. I hadn't eaten any red meat since May last year (but had some lamb twice in the past week)

Detox to me entails avoiding all of the nasties that I might ever put in my body. I've decided to do it for a month as in December I've drank a little more than I would like, eaten some red meat, had a little more sugar than I would like. It's my way of resetting my body to zero (as it were), cleansing and then getting on with the rest of the year. I do a pretty good job of eating a very healthy diet for most of the year, I just cut a little loose in December (birthday, Christmas, parties etc)

Detoxing will often help you to lose weight. But I prefer to sweat it out in the gym if I want to fit into a smaller pair of jeans. I don't really like the word diet either, but if you don't like the word detox you could think of it as an elimination diet. Eliminating some of the stuff that might have a negative effect on your body. I just take it a little more seriously in January.

Suzi Edwards aka "Tarka"

"the only thing larger than her bum is her ego"

Blogito ergo sum

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It's not a full fledged detox, but we use Lent as a way to get some distance from all the rich Holiday eating. No meat (except seafood) and no sugar.  I can't quite make it to the no alcohol or caffeine restrictions.

Lent starts early this year and we're already looking forward to it!  That way we can still burn off all the leftover Holiday food in January and don't have to worry about Superbowl food.

Interesting that you should mention Lent in this context. I had never thought of it as a food cleansing period, but I stumbled across this in the Larousse Gastronomique: "This period of fasting in the Early Church had excellent physical effects by imposing on the digestive system, worn out by gastronomic excesses during the winter season, a much needed rest."

As always, the LG mixes common sense, great information with great anecdotes and a certain inescapable uber- Frenchness: "the real test of the culinary art was to create a rigorously apostolic meal which had all the appearances of an excellent supper."

Might not be a bad idea to observe it myself this year.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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Sheesh, I feel like I'm way behind the curve... I'm detoxing by eating more, exercising more, and ingesting more dirt...

Time to start counting down to decathlon #1...

And then marathons 1-4...

*whimper*

I always attempt to have the ratio of my intelligence to weight ratio be greater than one. But, I am from the midwest. I am sure you can now understand my life's conundrum.

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Interesting that you should mention Lent in this context.  I had never thought of it as a food cleansing period, but I stumbled across this in the Larousse Gastronomique:  "This period of fasting in the Early Church had excellent physical effects by imposing on the digestive system, worn out by gastronomic excesses during the winter season, a much needed rest."

As always, the LG mixes common sense, great information with great anecdotes and a certain inescapable uber- Frenchness: "the real test of the culinary art was to create a rigorously apostolic meal which had all the appearances of an excellent supper."

Might not be a bad idea to observe it myself this year.

I read that somewhere too which made all the sense in the world at the time as I looked over boxes and boxes of yet-to-be-eaten candy and cookies and a groaning freezer full of leftovers. It's more or less why I do it, no offense intended to the more religious-minded out there.

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Interesting that you should mention Lent in this context.  I had never thought of it as a food cleansing period, but I stumbled across this in the Larousse Gastronomique:  "This period of fasting in the Early Church had excellent physical effects by imposing on the digestive system, worn out by gastronomic excesses during the winter season, a much needed rest."

You can also think of this concept from the opposite direction: Lent (and similarly timed fasts) generally coincides with a "lean" time of the year in terms of quantity and variety of available foods. Treating it as a period of "purification" rather than privation makes sense.

The holiday period coincides with the end of harvest and butchering, and there's magical thinking involved with overeating at that time (to not overeat would "jinx" the next year) as well as during the winter solstice period.

Can you pee in the ocean?

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Day three of the detox. Have to say it has been a little harder than I thought it would be, sudden trip back home meant that I was unprepared for train travel but hopefully I didn't annoy the whole carriage by munching on a bag of carrots for two hours.

<rant>

I ended up going to the M&S Simply Food in Euston station against all of my ethics as the little place selling soup on the concourse didn't have a single wheat-free soup. Even the tomato and basil had wheat flour in it. WHY WHY WHY?

</rant>

Anyway, made a quite delicious chicken casserole last night. I was trying to make a sort of hunter's chicken so I roasted and skinned 2 red and 1 yellow pepper, browned 4 chicken thighs, mixed the two together, added five cloves of garlic still in their papery husks and a half bottle of passata. I would have liked to add some chilli, maybe some black olives, but my mum only had some dried basil in the house, so I added a teaspoon of that. Baked if for too long in a slow oven and served it with some long stemmed broccolli. Very delicious. Tonight I'm back home but I'm having chicken again, this time with chestnut, button and dried porcini mushrooms. I've added some dried chilli (yay) and I might add some olives at the end. I'm going to serve it with an artichoke and pea salad.

Am feeling like I might be about to get a bit of a headache, feels like the onset of a sugar withdrawal headache. I'm going to go and sniff some vanilla in a moment as I've heard this can alleviate sugar cravings. Does anyone have any ideas how to get rid of a headache without taking a painkiller? I guess that would defeat the purpose of a detox...

Suzi Edwards aka "Tarka"

"the only thing larger than her bum is her ego"

Blogito ergo sum

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It's not a full fledged detox, but we use Lent as a way to get some distance from all the rich Holiday eating. No meat (except seafood) and no sugar.  I can't quite make it to the no alcohol or caffeine restrictions.

Picked up a book I had about detoxing that says that shellfish is forbidden on some detoxes. I don't think I can bear that. I understand why I'm avoiding all the things I'm avoiding, any ideas why you wouldn't eat shellfish on a detox?

Suzi Edwards aka "Tarka"

"the only thing larger than her bum is her ego"

Blogito ergo sum

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It's not a full fledged detox, but we use Lent as a way to get some distance from all the rich Holiday eating. No meat (except seafood) and no sugar.  I can't quite make it to the no alcohol or caffeine restrictions.

Picked up a book I had about detoxing that says that shellfish is forbidden on some detoxes. I don't think I can bear that. I understand why I'm avoiding all the things I'm avoiding, any ideas why you wouldn't eat shellfish on a detox?

Maybe because of pollution and possible heavy metals and whatnot present in shellfish?

As for your headache, try and drink more water. I find that helped me when I went off sugar and caffeine last summer.

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Am feeling like I might be about to get a bit of a headache, feels like the onset of a sugar withdrawal headache. I'm going to go and sniff some vanilla in a moment as I've heard this can alleviate sugar cravings. Does anyone have any ideas how to get rid of a headache without taking a painkiller? I guess that would defeat the purpose of a detox...

That's funny you should mention sniffing vanilla. I used vanilla-scented body wash yesterday and had a huge vanilla/sugar craving after that that was only cured by Haagen Daz. :biggrin:

Andrea

http://tenacity.net

"You can't taste the beauty and energy of the Earth in a Twinkie." - Astrid Alauda

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Food Lovers' Guide to Santa Fe, Albuquerque & Taos: OMG I wrote a book. Woo!

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I take 2g of vitamin C a day anyway and a teaspoon of blue green algae but am thinking of adding some Co-Enzyme Q10 for the next month. Has anyone here taken this at all? Anything to say about it?

I have been taking Q10 for 2 years now. Before I took it, I had at least 4 severe colds a year that would often turn into a sinusitus. Since I started the Q10, I have not had a single cold. Sometimes I feel one coming on, but it disappears after a couple of days. I love the stuff!

I am thinking about detoxing but so far, the only thing I am doing is trying to cook and eat without too much fat. No more desserts.. less alcohol.. more excercise. I know it's very far from real detox but I felt very virtuous eating my noodles with cabbage today!

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I'm a bit surprised at how prevalent the post-holiday abstaintion /detox phenom seems to be. Numerous friends have been talking about it... and it seems to be a relatively popular topic here on egullet.

As for me, I was lucky enough to have the 23rd through the 4th off from work. That afforded me more than enough to indulge in some fairly extravagant meals, and imbibe in more than my fair share of vodka, bourbon, and beer. So, I'm going to take a few weeks off from alcohol to air-out the liver a bit, and I'm going to be more consistent with getting to the gym and running than I have been in the past months. Nothing to serious, but what my bod needs.

I'm curious if most people do their post-holiday curtailing primarily for weight reasons, general heath reasons, or because they feel guilty?

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I'm with you on this one.  I didn't make it to the gym once in December.

I haven't been since November and am now noticably chunkier than I was. Off to the gym with me.

I'm curious if most people do their post-holiday curtailing primarily for weight reasons, general heath reasons, or because they feel guilty?

I'm doing two weeks alcohol free and reducing fried and fatty foods in my diet because I feel crappy. I did nothing but eat and drink for the last three-four weeks and my body sorely needs a rest. That, plus the fact that my husband and I are vacationing in the Napa Valley at the end of the month (where there is nothing but food and drink) has led us to a modified "detox" diet. Lots of vegetables, very limited carbs, fried foods, etc. We need it. This is actually the first time in my life that I've done this.

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Day Six!

One of my friends who I happen to work with also tried to detox. She had a terrible headache on day three so decided to have a diet coke to get rid of it. She seemed to think my utter dismay and shock was amusing. My sense is that day three is when it starts to get back, thinking back to my first detox this was my weak point. The drinking water tip to get rid of a headache is a good one (research suggests that a lot of headaches are caused by dehydration) I'm still trying to find some other tips for easing detox related headaches.

Of all of the things I'm using to cleanse, lemon juice in hot water as soon as you wake up is my favourite. It's something that I think I might keep doing, it really eases you into the day and is really good for waking the digestive system up. Follow with a nettle tea and you're set up for the day!

Suzi Edwards aka "Tarka"

"the only thing larger than her bum is her ego"

Blogito ergo sum

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I'm trying to do the healthy thing at the moment - no booze, lots of water, veggie food, no dairy, no sweets, no stodge etc... etc...

I keep trying to convince myself that it is possible for food to be just as pleasureable this way... sometimes I even start to believe myself....

We're eating very well, feeling good already and the pounds seem to be falling off already...

But then I start thinking about all the good things... Bread... cheese...wine... salami... hams...pies...pastry...beef... chocolate...puddings....cream...hot buttered toast...pizza...pasta...juicy roast pork with crackling...roast potatoes...bacon...

Then the misery starts...life is somehow empty without overindulgence :smile:

P.S. Tarka have you tried eating fresh fruit to help kill the headaches - I did a detox before, and that is what was recommended

Edited by fatmat (log)
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But then I start thinking about all the good things... Bread... cheese...wine... salami... hams...pies...pastry...beef... chocolate...puddings....cream...hot buttered toast...pizza...pasta...juicy roast pork with crackling...roast potatoes...bacon...

...

P.S. Tarka have you tried eating fresh fruit to help kill the headaches - I did a detox before, and that is what was recommended

You can have roast potatoes on my detox. What's wrong with potatoes, oil, maybe a little garlic and rosemary? I also allow myself pork after the first two weeks. In the words of CurlyWurlyFi "What colour is pork?"

Once you've decided that pork is pink and therefore not a red meat you could also have bacon (however, I avoid cured foods when cleansing so it's out for me)

Thanks for the fruit tip. I'll try that next time.

Suzi Edwards aka "Tarka"

"the only thing larger than her bum is her ego"

Blogito ergo sum

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I just came through my own personal 'detox' just recently, courtesy of a brief, but nasty little flu. Nothing but water and ginger ale for two days, and really, barely any of that.

I've definately dropped at least 5 pounds, and the thought of any real, rich foods are simply too daunting at this point. It's all chicken broth and toast for me for the next day or so...

Still, I'm not sure that I would recommend this form of detox wholeheartedly. :rolleyes:

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This Guardian article (by Ben Goldacre, who writes their regular 'Bad Science' column - Suzi, look at his articles on 'Dr' Gillian McKeith when you get the chance) is mostly having a go at over-the-counter 'detox kits', but it does ask a number of questions that mirror my own on the subject. I like the closing remarks in particular:

So does detox work? If it helps us realise that having a healthy lifestyle all the time is an attainable goal, then yes. But if it makes us think healthy living is like purgatory, something to be ventured into very occasionally, and with much trepidation and forward planning, then the answer is clearly no

I suppose you can only go with results though, and if people feel they benefit from detox plans, who am I to argue?

bainesy

Sheffield, where I changed,

And ate an awful pie

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I'm planning on starting an oxygen-based colon cleanse on Friday.

I was doing some research on colorectal cancer over the weekend; my father-in-law has a form that puts my husband and his siblings at high risk. Came across a site (well, several sites) on colon health. I won't go into detail, but if you could see the pictures of the gunk that builds up in your colon, you'd be as anxious as I am to get it out of there. Word is that there can be up to 20 lbs. of build up.

So.

I'll report back, if anyone's interested. No photos, though. :smile:

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Well, it's day nine of my (admittedly half-hearted) detox. Over the holidays, my lack of exercise and over-indulgence in food and drink resulted in 5-10lbs of extra weight where I didn't want it. Amazingly, after less than two weeks of abstaining from booze, I've dropped all the extra weight. (okay, maybe all the skiing I've done in the past week has something to do with it, too.)

However, I've noticed a strange side effect. I'm normally not much of a caffine drinker. On a typical day, I used to have maybe 1 cup of no-so-strong coffee at work in the morning. I *never* drink soda. Since I've started watching the food and libations, I've really (subconciously) ratched up my caffine consumption. Funny how you're brain medicates itself.

How's it going for everyone else?

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